I just looked it up and, as of tonight, I’ve been alive for 16,189 days. That’s how many times Earth has spun on its axis since my official entry to this terrestrial plane. That’s kind of cool. I think.
And that’s another fact of my existence. I lost her. 634 days ago.
I had a dream shortly after she died. Much of the dream has faded, like an old tapestry, leaving behind only the impressions I hermetically stowed. I remember walking through an autumnal forest. The brambles were all bare, skeletal. Red and orange leaves littered the ground. Here and there, however, green life still showed. Little ferns arched, pointing back at the earth. In a drift of leaves, I saw the corpse of a doe. Without thinking twice I sank to my knees beside the doe. Using a knife that suddenly appeared in my hand I slit her belly with one long stroke. Inside I saw a bottomless jumble of the past: toys, books, clothing, a radio alarm clock, and movie tickets. I dug deeper. And then my hands grasped the hard edges of something rather large. My heart quickened, instinctively recognizing it. Driving my arms down, up to the elbows, I got my hands under the flat bottom of it and pulled, revealing one of my most cherished possessions. Below all those childish objects had lain my yellow Silver Reed Silverette typewriter. In a rush, I woke to the fact that I was dreaming and that my mother was telling me something. Then I woke for real.
I felt devastatingly alive all day that day. My mom in some sense had validated my life’s work and had asked me to recommit to it, to take it seriously again. These were those fleeting emotional impressions I’d had upon waking at least. And this resonated with me as something true, something worth pursuing. So, this said, I dedicate this blog to my mother and two things I know we shared: writing and nature.
Since I had this dream, I’ve returned with my family to New York to live. We’re in a small town named Rosendale, fifteen minutes north of New Paltz, in the foothills of the Shawangunk Mountains. A perfect setting for my literary musings and ever wandering feet.
My son, who has only been on this earth 380 days, will perhaps read this blog one day. Perhaps it will encourage him when he needs it most. I can hope.